Level: Free shore access This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Surrounded by the two main sandy beaches of Benidorm, Cala Mal Pas is one of the famous seaside resort’s best-kept secrets. This small cove nestled at the foot of the old town’s cliffs boasts a fantastic underwater world, where sargo, wrasse, seabream and damselfish abound. The snorkeling area is quite small (most of the underwater life gathers along the 60 meters-long rocky shore) but definitely worth a visit if you are staying in the “New York of the Mediterranean”.
Cala Mal Pas is located at the foot of the old town of Benidorm, between Playa Levante Beach and Playa de Poniente, the most famous stretches of sand in the seaside resort. On foot, you can walk to Cala Mal Pas from Playa de Poniente (follow the promenade to the end; the spot is located just behind the small port).
Enter the water from the small Mal Pas beach.
The best snorkeling area is along the rocks which edge the left side of the cove (see map). Children will love the sandy bottoms facing the beach, where many saddled seabream swim around the bathers (↕1-6ft/0.5-1.5m).
At the foot of the small cliff, you’ll swim above a rugged rocky underwaterscape, which then gives way to large sandy beds (↕3-12ft/1-4m). The rocks are covered with Padina, brown algae and a few sea sponges. There are also many anemones and sea urchins between the rocks.
Due to a fishing ban near the beach, Cala Mal Pas is remarkably full of fish. In addition, the beach being very crowded, the fish are used to swimmers and can be easily approached.
While finning along the rocks, you will encounter large schools of salema, two-banded seabream and saddled seabream, as well as some large specimens of sargo and sharpsnout seabream staying close to the reef.
Rarer species, such as gilt-head bream and zebra seabream, are also often spotted on this spot. Twirling around the rocks, many bright-colored ornate wrasse, are great subject for underwater photography.
There is a cafeteria a few steps from the beach, above the yacht club. This spot is in the very center of the city, so you’ll find within a few minutes walk a large choice of restaurants and supermarkets, both on the seafront and in the old town.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky cove with posidonia meadows and many fish
Level: Free shore access
Rocky cove and small cave with many fish
Rocky cove with seagrass beds, sea stars and many fish
Scenic rocky cove with many fish
Rocky islets surrounded by seagrass meadows with a great diversity of fish
Rocky, sandy and grassy beds with many fish